Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have a choice in my child staying?
For a child to be admitted they must meet legal criteria such as a significant change in their level of functioning, danger to self/others, etc. Depending on the level of your child’s acuity, the psychiatrist will determine the need for admission/discharge.
What is my child doing while in the hospital
Please refer to the Family Handbook and unit schedule, which includes all groups/activities, etc.
Who may visit?
Upon admission, only parents/legal guardians are permitted to visit until the parent or guardian meets with the social worker.
May I go to the unit?
Upon admission to the unit, the parent(s)/guardian will accompany the child to the unit and will be greeted by the RN in the sally port of the unit. The RN will give you a brief explanation of the next 24 hours and what to expect as well as go over the Family Handbook with you. You will be given contact information and phone numbers. Due to privacy laws families are not permitted in patient care areas. Family/treatment team meetings will take place in designated areas within the unit.
The visiting time is impossible due to my work schedule. Is there any other option?
Please discuss issues related to visiting times with the social worker. Please understand the children are here for treatment and visiting should not interfere with necessary treatment routines.
Will my insurance cover this?
Due to the acuity and safety concerns, most children will be admitted directly to the unit. The Emergency Room social workers or utilization manager will call the insurance company to clarify coverage. We will work with the family regarding any insurance issues.
Will my child be forced to take medication?
Medication requires parental/legal guardian consent. If this is an option for your child, the psychiatrist will have a discussion with you before ever administering any medication.
May I bring my child food?
Parents/guardians may bring dry food such as cereal, snacks, cookies, etc. Please do not bring a large supply. No liquids are allowed and we do not heat up food. Food may be brought during visiting, but will need to be consumed during the visit as we are unable store food.
What about school? May I bring them their homework while in the unit?
We have allocated time for school work (please see unit schedule). We have a teacher on staff and will gather information and consent from you during the treatment meeting to allow us to contact the school to obtain classwork (Bergen County residents).
How old are the children on the unit?
We treat children 5 years old through 17 years old. Our programming is created to address the child’s needs per their developmental stage (please refer to unit activity schedule).
How many children are in a room?
We have several options. The unit has 3 rooms accommodating 4 children, 5 single rooms, and one large private room. The rooms are allocated to the children by age and gender and are at the discretion of the treatment team. Younger children will not be placed in a room with an older child.
I have heard about a 72 hour hold, what does this mean for my child?
There is no 72-hour hold for children. A child may be discharged soonerbut the admission paperwork you sign in the emergency room is legal for up to 7 days. Again, this does not mean your child will be in the hospital for 7 days; however, if your child requires longer than 7 days this will be discussed with the parent/legal guardian during the treatment team meeting.
What happens if a family disagrees with admission to the hospital but the psychiatrist assesses the child needs to stay?
We always strive to work as a team with families; however, if the psychiatrist feels the patient is a danger to themselves or others and believes it is in the best interest of the patient to be admitted, the psychiatrist can have the child involuntarily committed at which time the 7-day paperwork would no longer apply. The treatment team will be in contact with the parent/guardian the following work day to explain the process and initiate treatment.
When will my child meet with the psychiatrist?
The resident psychiatrist will see the child immediately following admission to the unit.
When will we have a meeting?
The social worker will call the family/legal guardian the following work day to arrange a family/treatment team meeting at the earliest availability. Please note, for weekend admissions and holidays the social worker will call on the next business day.
Q: I want to get into detox can; I go to the emergency room to get in?
A: No, the emergency room does not provide direct admission to the medical detox program. To get into detox, you should call the Access Center to complete a screening to assess your appropriateness for the program. To begin the screening process, please call the Access Center at 800-730-2762. The Access Center is available from 7 am to 11 pm Monday through Friday and from 8 am to 4:30 pm Saturday, Sunday and most holidays. After hours, there is a live answering service with a representative who will take messages for Access Center intake specialists to follow up during the Access Center’s business hours.
Q: What should I expect during the screening process?
A: All screenings are confidential. A trained intake specialist will take your call and gather important information to assess the appropriate level of care. Most screenings take about 10 – 15 minutes and can be completed over the phone. If you do not qualify for the Bergen New Bridge Medical Center detox program, an alternate level of care will be offered as well as referrals to appropriate programs. To expedite the screening, please be prepared to provide information about your substance abuse, medical issues, and mental health. Please have ready your insurance information and any medications you may be taking.
Q: What insurances do you accept?
A: Bergen New Bridge Medical Center accepts New Jersey Medicaid, Medicare parts A and B, and nearly all commercial insurance. If you do not have insurance, an intake specialist will see if you are eligible for charity care funding. Most private or commercial insurances will pay for treatment if deemed medically necessary; however, insurance benefits can be verified on request to see what type of coverage you have.
Q: What if I want to get a prescription for Suboxone or methadone? Can I go to the emergency room?
A: The emergency room does not prescribe these medications or start medications. You can call the Access Center for referrals to Suboxone or methadone clinics.
Q: How do I get into inpatient rehab?
A: The Access Center can assist with admission to possible rehab services after you complete a screening for all substance abuse and mental health services.
Q: I ran out of my medications. Can I get refills through the emergency room?
A: No, prescriptions are not given out in the emergency room. You can call the Access Center to complete a screening to get an appointment to meet with a psychiatrist to be assessed for the appropriate level of psychiatric and medical care.
Q: I am concerned about my friend/family member. What do I do?
A: You can contact the Access Center to see what options are available for your loved one. We cannot give advice, but we can help guide you through the process so you can make the best decision for yourself and help advise your friend/family member.
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